After months of anticipation, and just a few hours after photos leaked online, Tesla has officially unveiled the new Model 3. While there was a lot of hype regarding the refresh, Tesla delivered with a number of new features and design elements.
The new Model 3 is now available to order in China, Europe, Australia, and other Asia-Pacific regions where Tesla exports cars from Giga Shanghai, but strangely absent from that list is Canada, where the original Model 3 is still appearing on the online configurator.
UPDATE 7:51pm PT: According to one of our sources, the new Model 3 will not be available in Canada or the US in 2023. Tesla did not say when it would be available, only that it would not be available in North America this year.
The most obvious changes to the exterior are the sleeker front and rear ends, matching photos we shared with you earlier today, with new headlights and taillights, and a front bumper camera. Also on the outside are the new 18″ and 19″ wheels, along with two new paint colours for the Model 3, Ultra Red (previously only for the S/X), and Stealth Gray.
On the interior is where we see more substantial changes, and much of what is new and changed matches what we have been reporting on over the last few months. Perhaps the most notable change is the new steering wheel with no gear or turn signal stalks, replaced with touch buttons on the steering wheel, much like the S/X. The center console is also sporting a new design with more premium materials like real metal for the console lid. The main display has remained the same size, but has smaller bezels to make it appear larger, and is brighter and more responsive.
Those premium materials continue through to the dash where is also new ambient lighting that surrounds the cabin. The driver and front passenger get ventilated seats for heating and cooling, while rear passengers get a new 8″ rear screen to control HVAC and music and videos, more comfortable seats (perforated but not ventilated like the front). The sound system has been upgraded from 14 speakers to 17 speakers, including 2 subwoofers and 2 amplifiers, while Bluetooth and Wi-Fi performance has also been improved.
While sitting inside Tesla says passengers will experience 30% less wind and ambient noise, a 25% decrease in impact noise, and a 20% decrease in road noise. These were achieved through new acoustic (double pane) glass on the rear windows and increased insulation.
The changes aren’t all cosmetic. Range has been increased by about 12% for the Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) and Long Range (LR) variants, now at 344 miles (553km) and 421 miles (677km) respectively. These are based on the WLTP standard, but expect a similar percentage increase when the EPA ratings are released.
While many were hoping the new Model 3 would launch with a lower price, it has in fact increased. The RWD starts at 259,900 yuan (C$48,300/US$35,800), about a 12% increase compared to the previous price of 231,900 yuan (C$43,100/US$31,900). The LR now starts at 295,900 yuan (C$55,000/US$40,800).
As we noted at the top of this article the new Model 3 is available to order in China, with deliveries expected in “Q4” according to the Design Studio. Europe is expecting the first deliveries in October or November, while in Australia they are slated to begin in January 2024.
Unfortunately the new Model 3 has not appeared on the Canadian Design Studio, despite the fact that we now receive our Tesla cars from China, and not Fremont, and despite substantial price drops on Model 3 inventory yesterday.
Here are some videos that Tesla has released of the new Model 3.
The media embargo has also lifted, so here are some of the early reviews that have already hit YouTube.